Elk hunting the Bob Marshall wilderness

Jack321

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Apr 15, 2020
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114
Sometimes also it takes a little luck. My first archery elk hunt I shot a raghorn 4x5. If you want a good guided hunt experience in central montana I would check out Rawhide guide services. Ive done all my hunting diy but had the opportunity to trade some labor for elk hunting with them. Theyve got decent bulls and a couple big ones but theyre down to earth people. That guided hunt in the bob sounds like an absolute disaster and I can understand why youd be so set in success rates.

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I'm not done with elk hunting. I just have a couple hunts already planned with some family and friends the next 3 yrs.
 
OP
ATangsGearHunter

ATangsGearHunter

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May 3, 2022
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OP-you are legit being given solid and true advice. NOBODY is running a misinformation operation to hide their honey hole in the Bob. [*actual and correct usage of “running” utilized]

There are so many other places to grossly improve your success odds and still be in beautiful country here in MT.

Either way, rock on Brother!
Yup I don’t believe anyone is trying to hide anything. I already have the time requested off for work though so we’ll either be going to the Bob or just north of Yellowstone to hunt an early rifle since my father is not a bow hunter. The great thing is though if we get skunked during these seasons we can come back to MT from ND and hunt another unit with a rifle as well.
 
OP
ATangsGearHunter

ATangsGearHunter

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I spend (have spent) a lot (lot) of time in the Bob (Great Bear and Scapegoat too). Was a Wilderness Ranger in there for two years prior to becoming a game warden.

There are elk in there, some good bulls too. Is it easy hunting, far from it.

Generally folks that hire an outfitter in the Bob are looking for an adventurous hunt first and killing a bull second. You'll definitely get the first, the second takes hard work and a little luck.

If your number one priority is to kill a bull, there are better places to spend your money. If you want a memorable hunt in a beautiful setting, you won't do much better imo.
Thanks for the input!
 

Okhotnik

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Dec 8, 2018
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N ID
I have a lot of friends killing elk on the front. Just not in the wilderness. There's a crap ton of griz on the front. I mean they're everywhere in Montana but especially there.
I ran into 3 separate grizzlies fly fishing the area near the front in August
 

beignet

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May 14, 2019
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Montaña
I ran into 3 separate grizzlies fly fishing the area near the front in August
It’s the bearsiest area of the state I’ve ever been. We had a wall tent over there a few years back and had multiple fresh tracks a few yards away in the mornings. They didn’t really come investigate the tent thought, just passed on by.
 

Deadfall

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Uall forgetting about wolves and lions. Buddy had 4 cats about 50 yards from him last year. He was just sitting having lunch. Mom and 3 yearlings came sneaking by
 

Deadfall

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Montana
I dont understand how anyone could think there are undisturbed areas? Really what's the difference between a guide taking several people over the course of a season, or dozens of guys hitting a area diy over the course of the season?

There are no undisturbed areas. No secrets to hunting that haven't been tried.

To think only lazy people with money to burn go on guided hunts is fairly false perspective.

Unfortunately there are turds out there calling themselves outfitters. There are also some fantastic ones our there.

I've been in guide game a long time. People use outfitters for a variety of reasons.
 

Will_m

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Jul 7, 2015
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Latest reports I’ve heard on the Bob are pretty dismal. From what I understand there’s an increased wolf presence and even less of an elk presence than previous years. Sounds like it’s shaping up to be another Frank church.
 

Deadfall

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I just came out of bob. So called serious DIY guys just killed 3 horses. Left them in trail.

The bob is not for faint of heart.

Bears, lions, wolves...They all over montana. Definitely a problem. Not as big of problem as guys floundering around in country they ain't cut out for.
 

Deadfall

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I'll bet money there's hard core local guys around the frank church killing monsters every year. You won't hear about it though. They'll just let all the media play the tail they wish
 

MTHokie

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Nov 25, 2022
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Latest reports I’ve heard on the Bob are pretty dismal. From what I understand there’s an increased wolf presence and even less of an elk presence than previous years. Sounds like it’s shaping up to be another Frank church.
Agree 💯% here. Especially in the Scapegoat. Take a look at the dropoff in harvest percentages starting in 2009/10 in district 280. IMO wolves are the only reasonable explanation for that. That being said, I love being in the Bob, hunting/fishing/backpacking/whatever. It is a really cool place to enjoy the outdoors. And of course, the Bob is the only place in the lower 48 where the two Rs meet - Rifle and Rut!
 

MTHokie

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Latest reports I’ve heard on the Bob are pretty dismal. From what I understand there’s an increased wolf presence and even less of an elk presence than previous years. Sounds like it’s shaping up to be another Frank church.
Here's a summary of the harvest stats from 280 that I was referring to. I mean one elk per every 70 hunt-days! Makes me sad...
License YearHunting DistrictResidencyHuntersDaysDays per HunterTotal Harvest
2004​
280​
SUM
344​
1805​
5​
70​
2005​
280​
SUM
355​
2032​
6​
69​
2006​
280​
SUM
507​
3018​
6​
108​
2007​
280​
SUM
369​
2176​
6​
68​
2008​
280​
SUM
364​
2518​
7​
75​
2009​
280​
SUM
439​
2905​
7​
56​
2010​
280​
SUM
322​
1823​
6​
63​
2011​
280​
SUM
372​
2456​
7​
45​
2012​
280​
SUM
247​
1630​
7​
43​
2013​
280​
SUM
0​
0​
0​
36​
2014​
280​
SUM
232​
1529​
7​
23​
2015​
280​
SUM
194​
1495​
8​
24​
2016​
280​
SUM
236​
1485​
6​
16​
2017​
280​
SUM
0​
0​
0​
23​
2018​
280​
SUM
198​
1227​
6​
36​
2019​
280​
SUM
0​
0​
0​
15​
2020​
280​
SUM
181​
1197​
7​
17​
2021​
280​
SUM
0​
0​
0​
22​
 

jjohnsonElknewbie

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Mar 16, 2021
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Location
Western Iowa
I just came out of bob. So called serious DIY guys just killed 3 horses. Left them in trail.

The bob is not for faint of heart.

Bears, lions, wolves...They all over montana. Definitely a problem. Not as big of problem as guys floundering around in country they ain't cut out for.
This doesn't surprise me after hunting that country fall 2021. Guys without experienced and veteran mountain horses and handlers will get chewed up and spit out in the Bob. Going back and looking at my pics and videos of that hunt, then reading posts like this, give me an even greater appreciation for the the outfit and animals we hunted with. They weren't perfect by any means, but they kept us all safe and every person and animal walked out of there unscathed.

Hats off to @Deadfall and the other MT guides that take folks into the Bob.
 

Wolf_trapper

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Messages
163
I hunt back there horseback every year. I do it because I love the country. That being said I think it's criminal outfitters are operating back there still. It's worse than used car salesmen. Not good for the few elk left back there and not good for the clients being dupped. There are easier and more honest ways to make a living then selling hunts back there.
 

Mojave

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
967
I graduated high school in Montana in the early 1990's. The Bob was the place then.

Based on Mthokie's excel file, I'd say it will probably never be the place again.
 
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